Absa Premiership champions Mamelodi Sundowns were rampant on their return to league action by thumping Moroka Swallows 4-1 in a clash at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Tuesday night.
It’s a fact that proven goal scorers are hard to come by in South Africa at the moment, however, Sundowns has certainly found a way of working around this epidemic - and here is how they have done it.
Downs Passing/Possession Game
The Brazilians play their own brand of ‘Shoe Shine and Piano’ football, similar to Barcelona’s tiki-taka style of play, where ball possession is the objective. This means more players are given the chance to go forward, creating goal scoring opportunities between each other.
Playing More Than One Play Maker
Last night, Downs fielded Teko Modise, Bongani Zungu and Anthony Laffor to support Cuthbert Malajila upfront. Not only that, Kuda Mahachi and Khama Billiat played as unorthodox wingers, adding to the creativity going forward. These are all proven goal creators and the more of them on the pitch working together, the better the chance there is to create clear scoring opportunities.
Utilising Hardworking and Mobile Strikers
As opposed to playing a thoroughbred number nine striker, Downs opt to play a mobile striker in Malajila. A number nine asks for long balls and telling crosses in the 18-yard area, and that is not the way Downs play their game. Playing a mobile striker would mean more running as well as more passes and movement off the ball upfront. Playing with a traditional number nine would clash with the system.
How else do you think Downs have treated the goal scoring virus in South Africa?